Faced with painful news I have a really bad tendency to fog my thoughts with mindless distractions. I wander off till the immediate distress stops stabbing my heart. It’s a defense mechanism that keeps me from losing it down dark corridors of sadness. Usually, words of consolation just make my misery hurt worse. I’m no good at accepting comfort and rotten at giving any. So I’m all the more grateful when I see somebody who can do both — give comfort and receive it gracefully in the face of inconceivable grief. Roger Ebert’s wife Chaz has done just that.
CHICAGO, April 4, 2013 — Chaz Ebert issued the following statement Thursday about the passing of her husband, Roger Ebert, a day after he celebrated 46 years as a film critic:
“I am devastated by the loss of my love, Roger — my husband, my friend, my confidante and oh-so-brilliant partner of over 20 years. He fought a courageous fight. I’ve lost the love of my life and the world has lost a visionary and a creative and generous spirit who touched so many people all over the world. We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie. It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other.
“Roger was a beloved husband, stepfather to Sonia and Jay, and grandfather to Raven, Emil, Mark and Joseph. Just yesterday he was saying how his grandchildren were “the best things in my life.” He was happy and radiating satisfaction over the outpouring of responses to his blog about his 46th year as a film critic. But he was also getting tired of his fight with cancer, and said if this takes him, he has lived a great and full life.
“We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away. No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.
“We are touched by all the kindness and the outpouring of love we’ve received. And I want to echo what Roger said in his last blog, thank you for going on this journey with us.”